Christos Anesti! And Therefore I Will Rise

From James:

Happy Easter, everyone!

Easter Egg Hunt

To get ourselves into the Easter mindset, So Young and I spent a couple of nights listening to Tony Campolo’s famous sermon, “It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming.” It has a broad application outside of this holiday. We highly recommend it:

http://www.tonycampolo.org/mp3/Its_Friday_But_Sundays_Coming.mp3

The kids have been home all week, so it has been very busy for So Young. I took Tuesday off to spend some time with the family and attend to some errands. I took everybody to the dentist, and then we went to Old Town Alexandria to exchange a pair of So Young’s running shoes. We then rushed back home to get ready for a ballet we attended that night, Sleeping Beauty, performed at the new Hylton Performing Arts Center by a Russian ballet company.

The highlight of the evening’s performance was our punchy kindergartener loudly commenting that she could see the male ballet dancer’s “bottom” (he was wearing tights) and lamenting what she perceived to be the immodesty of Sleeping Beauty’s costume. So Young has wanted the girls to attend a real ballet for years, and I think she was satisfied that we were able to do so.

The Ladies at the Ballet

So Young and the girls went on a picnic on Wednesday with friends. Sandy very graciously drove them all, and they had a great time. On Thursday, Mom took the girls shopping for Easter dresses, etc., one of their all-time favorite activities. Friday was sort of a “day off” for the Gage ladies, as by that time they needed a spring break from their spring break.

This week was a test, in a sense, of what the summer is going to be like for So Young and the girls. So Young is still struggling greatly with fatigue, which doesn’t necessarily affect anything when the girls are at school and I am at work. With the girls home all day, however, So Young is too tired in the morning to do much. Shannon was a trooper and helped out with the younger ones during the morning hours. I don’t have any concerns for the girls under So Young’s care and with Shannon’s help, at this point.

So Young’s appetite still isn’t great. I would say that she is still eating maybe one meal’s worth of food each day. She has aversions to food, but she also has cravings. They aren’t consistent, so we can’t plan around them. Still, she seems to be eating enough to be healthy, although she lacks the energy she used to have.

Unbelievably, we are still receiving meals from our church that end up feeding us perhaps four nights per week. Mom also prepares at least one meal for us a week, as well, so we are doing very little cooking.

Today we had a wonderful Easter with our church family. The mood of Easter can be so pure, unlike Christmas, which seems tainted. Here we are thanking God for the great miracle He has done for each and every one of us, and how there is hope beyond these frail bodies and this short time we have together on earth.

During a special musical performance, a member of the praise band sang the Chris Tomlin song “I Will Rise” with exceptional beauty. I remember playing this song for So Young as we drove to the start line of the MCM Half last year, the same race we are running together in May. The music itself really does rise, but even more so the lyrics lift you up. I cried as I sang along this morning (I wasn’t supposed to sing along), because it is such a beautiful picture of what things are going to be like for us some day, restored from these fragile bodies, into God’s presence, and all because Jesus himself rose up.

I Will Rise
by Chris Tomlin

There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say, “It is well.”

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
“Worthy is the Lamb” (x2)

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Pastor JP  preached eloquently about Thomas, who doubted and had to see Christ’s wounds for himself. Thomas’s conclusion, as ours: “My Lord and my God!”

It’s our prayer that this post finds you full of hope today. There is much to hope for, even when on the face of it, your circumstances may say otherwise, like it did for Thomas and the other disciples before Christ rose. Your present circumstances and even your past don’t determine who you are. There is a future that is more important, that defines who you are if you place your hope in God. It’s a future without death, pain, failure, disappointment, or sin, where we will live restored. This is eternal life, and it starts now for those who believe.

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12 Responses

  1. We’re glad the song ministered to you, James. And it’s okay to sing along! You all are a blessing and I’m glad to see the girls are doing well. We continue to pray for you, thanking God for His resurrection power. Every day is Easter!

    • You guys did a great job. You always do, but you clearly pulled out all the stops for Easter. Thank you!

  2. What great pictures of the girls…many blessings to you all during this season. I am really looking forward to my lunch with So Young in a couple of weeks.
    Love Debby

    • Hey Debby!

      So great to hear from you. You’re on the calendar for May 7! Hope you had good travels recently.

      James

  3. Thank you, James, for sharing. You and your family are wonderful examples of God’s love working in hearts and homes.

    • Barbara,

      Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement!

      James

  4. hey james & so young!

    praise God that you continue to share your lives w/ us…i love it b/c it reminds me of all of God’s wonderful characters & it reminds me to give Him all praise, honor & glory! thank you for revisiting that song…it IS beautiful!!! surely we will rise b/c He has RISEN!!! we love your family deeply!

    grateful for the gage’s,
    hayong = )

    • Hayong,

      And we are absolutely grateful for you! A lot of people reading the blog probably don’t know that you are right at the center of a lot of what ABC has done for us. We are truly blessed by all of your love and hard work on our behalf.

      Love,

      The Gages

      • Hayong demonstrates the heart of Christ in a multitude of ways. We are indeed very blessed to know her.

  5. James and Ruby (So Young),
    As always a nice inspiration. I am sorry for my absence the past months. I am hopeful always and it is people like you who remind me to be just that. Thank you for sharing the song. I needed a nice quiet reminder of life tonight. As always a nice nice inspiration.

    Your friend,
    Jimmy

    • Jimmy,

      Thanks for the note! I hope you are doing well. Are you at the center of things in Japan? It’s a mess out there. Such an incredible loss. It’s encouraging to hear from you.

      James

  6. I was up in the mid mix for a while but I am now back home in Iwakuni. We are well south of the chaos.

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